citybiz+ TEDCO Backs Micro Data Centers Startup Flexnode

The Maryland Technology Development Corporation has invested an undisclosed amount in Flexnode, a Bethesda, Md., startup building micro data centers to tap emerging demand from Internet of Things devices and 5G mobile technology. The investment came via TEDCO’s Gap Investment Fund, created in 2017 to help startups not ready to seek venture capital investments.

“Flexnode provides a unique modular system that could change the way full data centers function,” said Jack Miner, TEDCO’s chief investment officer.

Flexnode CEO Andrew Lindsey said his company’s technology “enables organizations to efficiently distribute their digital infrastructure, while delivering critical data closer to the edge with a fraction of the physical and environmental footprint.”

Third Bet in October

Earlier this month, TEDCO invested in Tuzmo and CoolTech. Based in Gaithersburg, Tuzmo has built an ecommerce app to connect travelers with authentic artisans and craft persons.  Baltimore-based CoolTech is developing novel therapies for migraine and other pain disorders.

TEDCO’s portfolio firms have since 1998 generated more than 10,000 jobs, and made an economic impact estimated at $2.3 billion. Its portfolio companies have also contributed over $100 million in direct state and local revenue.

TEDCO runs seven different programs to fuel entrepreneurship across the state. They are: Venture Funds, Seed Investment Funds, Federal programs, Maryland Innovation Initiative Fund, Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund, Rural Business Innovation Initiative Fund and

Social Impact Funds. Its recent investments include Givhero, The Black Brain Trust, QuoLab, Safe Check, SkySquad, AudioOne, SharpRank, Alirtify

For the past two years, TEDCO has been led by executive director and CEO Troy LeMaile-Stovall, a 25-year veteran with experience in investment management, higher education, telecommunications, information technology and management consulting.

Focus on Performance

Flexnode, founded at the start of 2021, is betting on a future in which 5G technologies and billions of Internet of Things devices will make high-performance demands, such as low latency and greater speeds, from data centers. It is developing modular, liquid-cooled micro data center (MDC) systems that can provide speedy, on-demand access to varied computing needs. Such MDCs range in size from 19-inch racks to 40-foot containers and can be deployed in areas where a traditional data center would be impractical. In terms of business models, Flexnode is creating varied offerings, including a turnkey Data-Center-as-a-Service (DCaaS).

Andrew Lindsey, besides serving as Flexnode’s CEO, serves as director of applied research and development at Alpha, a multidisciplinary design and construction consulting firm in the Washington, D.C. area. He has expertise in addresses challenges in media, healthcare, education and most recently the built environment.

Flexnode cofounder Robert Mazer is a lawyer by training and has been a serial entrepreneur with notable experience in space and telecom. His prior ventures include Apio Systems, Assure Space and Smart City Works. He also serves on the boards of multiple startups with a focus on energy.